According to news reports, the funding for the much discussed Solar Bees in Jordan Lake has been pulled by the Department of Environmental Quality seemingly ending experimentation with this technology in the Lake. Medora, the manufacturers of the devices had won the ear of key legislators with the promise that these devices stirring up the water in the lake might somehow replace the need to actually reduce pollution from upstream communities. Monitoring reports of the lake, however, have shown that the technology has practically made no difference at improving concentrations of algae at areas where the devices are located.
From the beginning, scientists working for Medora had said that Solar Bees were only part of the solution and that nutrient reduction measures were needed for the lake to improve. That position, however, never gained traction with legislators as they have passed several bills delaying the implementation of nutrient reduction actions. With pollution loads to the Lake continuing unabated, algae prospered.
The State’s most recently released assessment of in-lake devices like Solar Bees does not look bullish on other technology, either. Given that, legislators should take this opportunity to recognize that time is being lost on efforts to reduce pollution to the lake and the state’s original Jordan Lake Strategy should be implemented.